Throughout the 70s when the Dallas Cowboys were clearly the best team in the NFL, fans like me let losses roll off our backs. We could do this because we knew that the Cowboys were always the best team on the field. They just didn’t play up to their potential. Well, the Senator Hillary Clinton supporters are now using the same argument that caused Pittsburgh Steeler fans to yell, “Look at the scoreboard” at Cowboy fans.
They are trying to argue that Clinton would be best at the top of the ticket. They argue that she is the best candidate. A group of Hillary Superdelegates have gone so far as write a letter which expresses why they think that Clinton is the best candidate.
The letter is addressed to “fellow Democrats” and sent to the Clinton campaign. They posted the letter on their web site. There is no new information in the letter. They state that Clinton has won battleground states. They do not, however, present any convincing information showing that if Senator Barack Obama was the nominee he wouldn’t win those same states.
The key paragraph asks two questions:
Pennsylvania was not just a victory for Hillary Clinton. It was also a wake- up call for superdelegates, forcing us to ask ourselves two essential questions: 1) Which candidate can carry the magic 270 electoral votes to win in the fall? 2) Which candidate is most likely to help our fellow Democrats in down-ballot races? We believe the answer to both of these questions is Hillary Clinton.
Pennsylvania was a wake up call? Hardly. Six months ago, we knew that Pennsylvania would go to Clinton and it did. Governor Ed Rendell, who supported Clinton, has a great organization in Pennsylvania. It was going to be very hard for Obama to overcome a popular governor and his machine. If Clinton isn’t the nominee, wouldn’t governor Rendell support Obama? I think that the answer is yes.
Finally, to the question of coattails. The Clintons are currently running on the premise that if you liked the 90s, you will love it again today. It is only fair to look back and see what kind of coattails the Clintons have. Didn’t the Democrats lose the 1994 mid-term election?
As a matter of fact, the popular president lost the mid-terms so badly that it took over a decade to reverse the Republican majority in the House. If the Clintons had significant coattails there wouldn’t have been any Republican Revolution. Al Gore would be president now and George Bush would be clearing brush in Crawford, Texas. There are no Clinton coattails. None. So, this argument is completely empty. Maybe the argument should be that we wished the Clintons had significant coattails.
This letter doesn’t explain why Mrs. Clinton hasn’t won more states if she is such a great candidate. She was the front runner, the one the whole party was looking to for leadership. But she stumbled out of the gate by never renouncing her Iraq war vote. Then she never came up with a clear theme for her campaign except, “I’m Hillary” and “Vote for me.” While former Senator John Edwards was fighting for the little guy, Clinton was fighting to tell us that the 1990s were great and that she can bring those policies back. (As an aside, can you ever go back? Whether it is old girlfriends or the policies of the 90’s, you can never go back). Obama was talking about change and Clinton was talking about turning back the clock.
Think back to Clinton’s original announcement. This wasn’t an “I’m going to work for you” announcement. Instead, Clinton’s announcement takes place in a plush living room where she is sitting on a couch that costs more than most of us make in month. The whole feel of the announcement was “I’m the nominee, let’s talk about beating the Republican nominee.” Clinton raised a ton of money, more money than any other candidate before her. The press, the candidates, and America were ready for Clinton to be president.
All she had to do was one little thing and she dropped the ball: Clinton lost Iowa!! If she would have won Iowa and New Hampshire (and Nevada) then we would not be talking about Obama or anyone else right now, but she didn’t. The next big contest was South Carolina. Again, Hillary stumbled. Mr. Clinton said some things about fairy tales which didn’t help her candidancy. Now, Obama is a real candidate and Mrs.Clinton is scrambling. The best candidate would have never let that happen.
Finally, there are other Superdelegates who believe that Obama is the one. Obama picked up nine superdelegates today.
By the way, although I’m a huge Dallas Cowboy fan, they did lose to the Pittsburgh Steelers in a couple of big games – Super Bowls. The Steelers were the better team. Right now, with 32 contests under his belt, Obama is the best candidate. Time is running out for Clinton to prove that she is worth destroying the party over because if the superdelegates give Clinton this nomination, it would destroy the party.
Update: I think that I wrote a pretty good post. In today’s Yahoo News, there is a very similar article (without the Cowboy references) from the Associated Press. They paint an even more detailed picture of how 2008 was Clinton’s race to lose and she lost it. Early polls showed that Hillary had over 90 percent of the black vote. Then folks in her campaign started saying things about Obama. I think that the bottom line is that Clinton could of, and should ,have won the first four contests. If she would have done that, then the race would have been over and Obama would be remembered as a nice flash in the pan. Unfortunately for Clinton, that didn’t happen. She has clearly shown us, the voters, that she is not the best or the strongest. She has shown us that she doesn’t mind visiting the dark-side when it suits her.